Click the links below to download the entry forms and guidelines:
Today I received this email:
I believe we all have a right to speak but we don’t have the right to demand that people listen.
Then I deleted all of this above and I replied:
I totally respect your opinions. Thank you for respecting mine.
With my very best wishes
Co-founder & Managing Director, Muddy Boots.
In our shop, the most popular meat order for Easter Weekend is definitely lamb. Easter is timed perfectly with Britain’s natural lambing season.
‘Spring Lamb’ means any lamb born in late Winter or early in the year and slaughtered before 1 July. This means that you’re getting the optimum age for the lamb. In good farming, the lamb will have naturally-weaned from the mother and will have already had a healthy grass diet for a month at least. The animal will have grown to a good size for the commercial viability as well as the ethics of its lifespan and, at this size, the taste and tenderness of the meat is at its best.
Farming and breeding have developed wonderfully over the years for a year round supply of exquisite lamb in this country and it’s thanks to these farms that we can stock British Lamb all year. The tradition of Spring lamb at Easter lives on though and a Roast Leg of Lamb or a slow cooked Lamb Shoulder certainly makes for a wonderful centre-piece for an Easter Weekend gathering.
We’ve got all the joints you need for the perfect Easter Feast available to pre-order online or in store. **Update – we have some room to take more orders! Get them in ASAP to avoid disappointment**
Or phone us on 0208 245 4240 to reserve over the phone.
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter, and see you in the shop soon!
“More than 20,000 people put their name to a petition to support the launch of ‘Veganuary’ – an initiative to encourage meat eaters to try and go the whole month of January without eating any animal products.”
– Veganuary Telegraph, Saturday 2 January
Though I own a meat company, I have added my name to the list. I’m also a fan of the campaigns to reduce meat consumption like ‘Meat Free Monday’.
Why would I want this?
The reason is that once we reduce the amount of meat we eat, we upgrade. This isn’t wishful thinking on behalf of a high end meat company – this is what happens. Better meat, less often. Mainly for two reasons – price and experience.
For experience, we’re starting to have a lot of customers say, “I’d rather go without if I can’t have your meat” – the biggest compliment. Once you know good meat – you’ve asked the questions, found a supplier you trust and have tasted it – you’d rather go without than go back to a cheaper/lesser product.
And for price, rather than good meat being ‘twice the price’, it’s actually that cheap meat is ‘half the price’ – same thing? No. Good meat is the real price. Everything else is a lesser product – Aston Martin to a Fiat is the example I always use and cover a lot in my new book. Both are ‘cars’, but you’d be offended if I tried to sell them to you as the same product.
So for Veganuary, it’s not going to be the people who have found good meat that are going to be inspired to give up meat, it’ll be the people looking for something better, even if they haven’t yet found where they’ll start. To compare, I’m not doing Dry January (the booze free month challenge). The reason for this is that I don’t drink an awful lot of alcohol – perhaps once a week. I don’t drink more because I really like good quality alcohol; that glass of Pouilly Fuissé wine that tastes so crisp and clean and you know you’re not going to have a headache before the end of the glass and you’ll still function in the morning even if, go on, you have another one. At £7.50 a glass though, I can’t afford to drink the good stuff often and I’d rather not have any booze if I can’t have the good stuff… so I don’t drink that often and I won’t feel much of a challenge to give it up (or satisfaction if I succeed) for January.
Same with meat.
We don’t need to eat as much meat as we’ll be led to believe by a commoditised market. We don’t need to have bacon for breakfast, a cheap chicken sandwich for lunch and supermarket steak for supper – not to mention the growth market in jerky and other ‘meat snacks’ for in between just in case three meat based meals isn’t enough! Really good meat in four or five meals a week is plenty of protein. Good meat will give you an abundance of iron and minerals too, as well as the satisfaction of the incredible taste experience that will make you look at the Tesco Express chicken sandwich and think, “Nah, I think I’ll just go without meat for this meal if I can’t have the good stuff”… Just like I would look at a glass of Blossom Hill red wine or a cheap, watery coffee when I love a flat white with the double ristretto from fresh ground beans and perfectly aerated whole milk.
I truly believe that once we start saying, ‘I’d rather not have it than have the cheap version’ we’ll realise we’re not actually spending more overall; we’re enjoying the meat we choose to have more; and our bodies are becoming much healthier again (see my piece on the recent WHO meat report). Reset the parameters of what we think we need and find out what we really want, what we really enjoy. Then trade up… or ‘trade back’, more specifically. Trade back to what meat used to be before it was intensified and exploited. Keep your really hard earned, net salary for the good stuff you deserve.
For more information on Veganuary, check out their website.
For more information on how we at Muddy Boots source our meat, and why we call it “good meat”, check out the Our Meat page.
Are you taking part in Veganuary? Do you have any questions or anything to share on this? Let us know! You can chat with us in the comments section (link at the top of this post!), or with Miranda on Twitter. If this post interested you, we also recommend the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. It covers a lot along this train of thought, and paints a very broad, informed picture of how we as humans eat meat, and how this has changed over time. We reference it CONSTANTLY in the shop and love when customers join in the conversation.
You might have seen a lot in the press last week surrounding the WHO meat report which revealed that eating processed meat can increase the risk of cancer. We believe it is always a good thing when there are accountable, qualified, respectable studies into meat. Anything that prompts debate and investigation into the meat industry is always a good thing.
If you know Muddy Boots, you’ll know that our shelves are as full of ‘popular meats’ as they are steaks and joints; we sell a lot of sausages, burgers, bacon, and so on, which are the main focus of the study.
I am pleased that the study addresses the contents of ‘processed meats’. It is often not the ‘processing’ so much as what the processing covers up. The history and origin of these lines was that they were designed to make cheaper or lesser cuts more palatable: the mincing made tougher cuts of meat or offal more tender and digestible, mixing herbs and seasoning in with it added flavour. This was the original ‘processed meat’ and it didn’t contain additives, preservatives, enhancers, binders, commercial food science and appallingly farmed meat. It was just a recipe.
Your meat supplier should be able to tell you the recipe of every product they stock. What’s in it, what’s the shelf life, are there any additives and preservatives in it – and so on.
Our sausages, for example, have a shorter life than some bread because they don’t contain preservatives. We take pork shoulder, mince it, mix the recipe (salt, pepper, potato starch, tomato puree, parsley, garlic) and then use our little sausage machine to feed the mix into natural casings (pork casings for pork sausage, lamb casings for non-pork sausages). These sausages only last 5 days. With potassium nitrates and other preservatives, we could get 9, 10, even 11 days’ life. We don’t use preservatives, we just have to cope with the short life. We don’t compromise on the recipe, we just accept – as our customers are happy to do as well – that certain products just don’t get to last longer. We make our sausages three days a week to try and offer the longest possible life to the shopper. This is one of the main reasons why we opened our own shop rather than supply Tesco. We can’t get a product to a supermarket shelf in less than three days. For short-life food, like minced meat products, one can’t supply them without using preservatives; they would have two days to sell it and even then that isn’t offering any life to the person in their fridge at home. So we just don’t supply them because we can’t. Our lines to Waitrose and Ocado have nine days on them and this is pressure enough on the wastage and the cost of needing to deliver to them twice a week to keep them stocked.
By contrast, our products are on our shelves in the time it takes to drive from our small factory in Leyton (about 35mins to allow for traffic!).
As a customer, it’s your responsibility to ask the questions. We blame food packaging and marketing but simply (and I understand idealistically) the only way to trust your supply is to ask them. If they can’t answer, don’t buy from them.
Please ask us:
1. Why is processed food bad for us?
2. What are the processes in your food production?
3. What’s the difference between cheap meat and good meat? And what’s the price difference?
4. Why does cured meat (charcuterie) contain nitrates – how much nitrate and how is it harmful to us?
5. What other questions do you think I should be asking you?
We’re happy to answer all of these questions, along with any others you might have about how we produce the meat you are purchasing to take home and feed your family, any time. You can contact us via email, follow us on twitter, phone us on 0208 245 4240 or of course pop into the shop from 9am – 9pm for a chat, 7 days.
Starting small on our family farm in Worcestershire, we’re now a bit bigger, sourcing more meats from some of the best farms in the country.
We have five shops in London, and a production factory in East London where we make everything ourselves.
29 Broadway Parade, N8 9DB
t 0208 245 4240
126 Fortis Green Road, N10 3DU
t 0203 774 7461
509 Old York Rd, SW18 1TF
t 0203 583 6151
Stoke Newington Church Street
Garratt Lane, Earlsfield
We're Open 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week.